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Halliday lands EPCR role

Former England international back Simon Halliday has been appointed as independent chairman of European Professional Club Rugby.

EPCR, which organises the European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup competitions, announced that 54-year-old Halliday will take up his role from next Monday.

And EPCR also confirmed that Swiss national Vincent Gaillard is to become the organisation's director general.

Gaillard, 45, will be based at EPCR headquarters in Neuchatel, Switzerland. His previous roles include that of a senior executive with Coca-Cola, where he managed sponsorship portfolios for the Olympic Games, Rugby World Cup and FIFA World Cup.

"O n behalf of the board, I am delighted to confirm the appointments of Vincent and Simon," interim EPCR chairman Paul McNaughton said.

"Both will bring a wealth of commercial expertise and administrative experience to EPCR, as w ell as a strong understanding of the business of sport as we move forward into a new phase for the professional club game in Europe.

" Under the management of Jacques Pineau, EPCR has now established a fully-staffed executive in Neuchatel with a combination of experienced personnel who are transferring from Dublin, and new employees from Switzerland and France."

EPCR's inaugural finals take place this week, with Gloucester and Edinburgh contesting the Challenge Cup final on Friday night, followed by an all-French Champions Cup showdown between Clermont Auvergne and Toulon at Twickenham on Saturday.

Halliday, who helped England win two Grand Slams during his 23-cap Test career and featured in the 1991 World Cup final, is a former Rugby Football Union Council member and British and Irish Lions selector. He played for Bath and Harlequins.

" I hope that my years of rugby experience on and off the pitch, combined with a lifetime career in finance, will be of benefit to EPCR as the organisation develops," said Halliday, who has enjoyed a successful business career in stockbroking and investment banking.

"The growth of European club rugby over the last number of years has been remarkable, and now it's very exciting to be a part of what promises to be a great future for the tournaments."

Gaillard, meanwhile, will work alongside current EPCR director general Pineau before formally taking up his post on July 1.


From Belfast Telegraph